15 unknown facts about the brand Royal Enfield

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15 lesser known facts about royal enfield india
21 November 2023

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Long story short: Royal Enfield company has a rich history; many do not know the lesser-known facts about the company and its models. Want to know those facts? It’s time to check those.

Founded in 1901, Royal Enfield is among the world’s oldest motorcycle brands, with a rich history that traces back to its origins in Redditch, Worcestershire, UK. Initially, the company produced bicycles, gun parts, and stationary engines. Still, it transitioned to motorcycles, with its first motorbike hitting the road in the early 20th century.

The brand’s association with India began in the 1950s when the Indian government procured the Royal Enfield Bullet for its army and police forces, primarily for patrolling the country’s rugged border terrains. This led to the establishment of Enfield India in 1955 in Chennai (then Madras), initially to assemble the motorcycles from imported kits. However, by 1962, complete production had shifted to India. Despite the original UK company closing its operations in 1971, the Indian entity, rebranded as “Royal Enfield”, continued to thrive and evolve.

Royal Enfield company has a rich and vivid history and a vast brand of die-hard fans. However, many do not know the lesser-known facts about the company and the models. Want to know those facts? So, let’s delve deep into those unknown facts now in detail.

15 lesser-known facts about the Royal Enfield company

Royal Enfield lesser known facts
Royal Enfield lesser known facts (Image Source: Royal Enfield India Official website)

Enfield’s Bicycle Origins

Before creating iconic motorcycles, Royal Enfield commenced as a bicycle manufacturer in 1893 in Redditch, Worcestershire. These bicycles were named ‘Enfield Cycle Company’ and showcased the company’s commitment to precision engineering.

War-time Reliability

During both World Wars, the company supplied motorcycles to the British army. Their motorcycles’ durability made them a staple for military reconnaissance and messenger tasks.

The Lightweight’ Flying Flea’

Amidst World War II, the company produced the RE/WD 125cc, colloquially called the ‘Flying Flea.’ Due to its lightweight frame, it was air-dropped behind enemy lines to assist paratroopers.

Bullet’s Legendary Run

The Bullet, introduced in the 1930s, is the motorcycle with the most extended continuous production. While evolving, its iconic design elements remain consistent.

Royal Enfield First V Twin
Royal Enfield First V Twin (Image Source: Royal Enfield India Official website)

Indian Establishment

‘Enfield India’ took shape in 1955 after the Indian government chose the Royal Enfield Bullet 350cc for its police and army forces. While initially assembling bikes from British components, by 1962, end-to-end production had shifted to India.

Gun-making Heritage

The brand name and slogan “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet” reflect the company’s earlier involvement in producing gun parts. The cannon in its logo further emphasizes this gun-making heritage.

Early Motorcycle Production

The first motorcycle from Royal Enfield was crafted in 1901, making it one of the pioneering motorcycle brands. This bike was powered by a modest 239cc engine producing 1.5 hp.

Artisan Tank Insignias

A cherished company tradition, especially for the classic models, is the hand-painted fuel tank emblems. This handcrafted touch adds a unique charm to each machine.

Global Testing Regimes

Royal Enfield bikes undergo extensive testing in diverse environments worldwide, From the Himalayan altitudes to the heat of the Rajasthan desert.

Madras Factory 1955
Royal Enfield Madras Factory – 1955 (Image Source: Royal Enfield India Official website)

Racing Chronicles

After an extended absence from the racing circuit, the company marked its re-entry in the 2010s. The brand celebrated its racing past by participating in classic race events with the Continental GT.

A Diesel Foray

During the 1980s and 1990s, a unique diesel variant named the ‘Taurus’ was introduced in the Indian market. This diesel machine was one-of-a-kind but had a limited production run.

Electric Aspirations

Committing to future technologies, the company’s leadership has hinted at developing electric motorcycle prototypes, ensuring the brand’s relevance in evolving automotive landscapes.

Rebirth of the Interceptor

The Interceptor, a beloved classic from the 1960s, was revitalized in 2018 as the Interceptor 650. This reintroduction marked the company’s re-entry into the twin-cylinder category after decades.

Redditch Inspirations

Honouring their roots, in 2017, the company unveiled the ‘Redditch Series for the Classic 350. The series drew design inspirations from the 1950s paint schemes when the motorcycles were still produced in Redditch, UK.

Royal Enfield Tamil Nadu Factory 2013
Royal Enfield Tamil Nadu Factory – 2013 (Image Source: Royal Enfield India Official website)

An Argentinian Extension

2020 saw the company establish its first manufacturing plant outside of India in Argentina to cater to growing demands in the South American region. This overseas venture highlights the brand’s expanding global footprint.

Conclusion

We have discussed lesser-known facts about Royal Enfield and their history in India throughout this article, and let’s conclude about these facts in a nutshell.

  1. Royal Enfield commenced as a bicycle manufacturer in 1893.
  2. During both World Wars, the company supplied motorcycles to the British army.
  3. Amidst World War II, Royal Enfield’s 125cc was called the ‘Flying Flea and was air-dropped behind enemy lines to assist paratroopers.
  4. The Bullet, introduced in the 1930s, is the motorcycle with the most extended continuous production.
  5. ‘Enfield India’ took shape in 1955 after the Indian government chose the Bullet 350cc for its police and army forces.
  6. “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet” slogan reflects Royal Enfield’s earlier involvement in producing gun parts.
  7. The first motorcycle from Royal Enfield was crafted in 1901.
  8. The hand-painted fuel tank emblems are a cherished company tradition, especially for the classic models.
  9. Testing of Royal Enfield bikes extensively in extreme environments like the Himalayas and Rajasthan desert.
  10. After an extended absence from the racing circuit, the company marked its re-entry in the 2010s.
  11. During the 1980s and 1990s, a unique diesel variant named the ‘Taurus’ was introduced in the Indian market.
  12. Committing to future technologies, the company’s leadership will develop electric motorcycle prototypes.
  13. The Interceptor, a beloved classic from the 1960s, was revitalized in 2018 as the Interceptor 650.
  14. Honoring their roots, in 2017, the company unveiled the ‘Redditch Series’ for the Classic 350.
  15. 2020 saw the company establish its first manufacturing plant outside of India in Argentina.

If you have any other doubts or queries, email us at bikeleague2017@gmail.com. We are always eager to help and assist you. Also, here are several social media platforms of Bikeleague India to raise your suspicions.

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